Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Demolition Advocates v. Tinkerers

In my discussions with individuals who have felt wounded by the current ministerial examining process, there are always those who'd like to blow up the whole thing. Why do we need ministerial examining in the first place? If we need it, why does it pivot on the interview? Shouldn't we have a process, like "in-care" in the United Church of Christ (UCC), that is more supportive and affirming of those striving to enter professional ministry and calls for greater involvement of the local congregation as a key partner in the process?

On the other hand, some of us are tinkerers. Why can't we, like the American Baptists, limit the interview to questions of character and find other ways to examine for content knowledge? Are there other ways to demystify the process?

I'm more in the tinkerer than the demolition camp, arguing for some form of centralized or regionalized examining and that some (and probably most) members of the examining committee should not personally know the examinee. Despite all post-modern claims to the contrary, there are arguments for objectivity, or, at least, what Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia calls neutrality in his TED video.

I'm also a believer in innovation and continuous process improvement. Mostly this involves tinkering, but occasionally it requires demolition.

What do you think?

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